EU member states agreed to continue cutting their gas demand by 15% compared to the five-year average until Mar. 31, 2024. The emergency legislation started applying in August 2022 to help the bloc refill its gas stocks and mitigate its unprecedented gas shortage following the Russian pipeline supply cuts.
The Netherlands’ plans to boost its LNG import capacity by a quarter to 30 bn m3 a year by 2026 could allow the country to fully replace the 9 bn m3 of Russian gas it imported prior to Russia’s export cuts to the EU. Like several other EU countries, the Netherlands is turning to LNG to help ensure its security of gas supply while also implementing measures to cut gas demand in the short and long term.
The European Union is on track to jointly buy around 10 bn m3 of gas this year, or roughly three-quarters of its mandatory target. The bloc agreed to start joint gas and LNG purchases in April to help ensure stocks are refilled ahead of next winter when supply is expected to remain tight. The EU is also contemplating expanding its voluntary 15% cut in demand until next year as another measure to tackle the current energy crisis.
Three out of the four LNG import terminals in France are offline for a week amid a national strike affecting multiple sectors in the country. The terminals affected represent over 60% of the French LNG import capacity. LNG is essential for the security of supply of France and its regional neighbors.
Germany’s third LNG import terminal completed its first commercial delivery on Feb. 16. The country is fast-tracking the launch of several floating terminals between this winter and the next to help replace the lost Russian pipeline supplies as fast as possible but these new capacities alone will not be enough.
The Netherlands’ gas transmission system operator Gasunie has advised the Dutch government to keep Groningen, the EU’s largest gas field, open at minimal production levels until further notice instead of closing it down in October as currently planned. This is to help mitigate security of supply risks as the country’s additional LNG import capacities have not yet replaced all the lost Russian pipeline supplies.
The UK’s North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) closed its latest round of exploration licenses for offshore gas blocks, among which four priority areas with known reserves could start producing in 18 months. This could limit the UK’s reliance on LNG.
Nigeria LNG continues to operate its 22.2 mtpa plant on Bonny Island at a reduced rate as a force majeure declared in October on upstream supplies remains in place.
The share of global LNG in the European Union’s gas import mix rose to unprecedented levels in 2022 as the bloc increasingly relies on LNG to replace most of the lost Russian pipeline supplies.